Eduardo Chillida (Spanish, 1924-2002) Piedra Incrustación Plomo 1962

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Lot 8* AR
Eduardo Chillida
(Spanish, 1924-2002)
Piedra Incrustación Plomo
1962

Sold for £ 48,750 (US$ 60,587) inc. premium
Eduardo Chillida (Spanish, 1924-2002)
Piedra Incrustación Plomo
1962

incised with the artist's signature and monogram
stone and lead

13.5 by 20.3 by 3 cm.
5 5/16 by 8 by 1 3/16 in.

This work was executed in 1962.

Footnotes

  • This work is registered in the archives of the Museo Chillida-Leku, Hernani, under no. 1962.004.

    Provenance
    Galerie Maeght, Paris
    Acquired directly from the above by the previous owner circa 1980
    Thence by descent to the present owner

    Literature
    Ignacio Chillida and Alberto Cobo, Eduardo Chillida I (1948-1973): Catalogo Razonado de Escultura, San Sebastián 2014, p. 178, no. 1962.004, illustrated in black and white



    Born in Donostia (also known as San Sebastián) in 1924, Chillida was proud of his Basque heritage; the title of the terracotta sculpture Lurra is the Basque word for 'earth', a reference to the material from which is has been fashioned. Influenced by his studies of architecture in Madrid from 1944 to 1946, Chillida quickly turned to sculpture after completing his studies, and moved to Paris, then the international capital of the avant-garde. The pull of his native land was strong, however, and by 1955 he was back in the Basque country, where he would largely remain until his death. The importance of this place, its landscape, its geography and its geology, on Chillida's practice has been well noted: "His art is descriptive of the interaction of natural forces and the authority with which his sculpture speaks stems from the geography of his own native land" (Roland Penrose in: Chillida, London 1990, p. 52).

    Created from stone, lead and terracotta, the forms of Piedra Incrustación Plomo (1962) and Lurra XXIII (1978) are crafted from the very stuff of the earth. Enticingly tactile, ceaselessly evocative, they display the virtuosity of Eduardo Chillida, a man now appreciated as one of the Twentieth Century's greatest abstract sculptors. Both were first acquired at the iconic Galeria Maeght, the Paris gallery which began to exhibit and promote Chillida's work in the late 1950s, and was to play an important role in introducing him to an international audience; indeed, a monumental granite sculpture by the artist can now be found in the gardens of the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul de Vence, a vivid reminder of this crucial, career-defining relationship. Since then the works have remained in the same family collection, only now appearing at auction for the first time.

    Eduardo Chillida created sculptures in many different sizes for many different locations. His impressive large-scale works can be found in public spaces across the world, from Paris to Dusseldorf, Barcelona to Dallas, with many to be found in his beloved Donostia. In the two following works, however, we find the artist at work on a more intimate scale, creating delicate works which can be experienced on a more personal level, even held in the hand. Piedra Incrustación Plomo (which literally translates as "Stone Incrustation Lead") of 1962 consists of a slab of stone, its surface veined with a network of metal lines. Meanwhile Lurra XXIII of 1978 is a cube of terracotta, its edges softened, its volume split into what appear to be two interlocking elements.

    Both works belong to important series by Chillida, and display many of the key themes that he explored over his lifetime. They hint at the biomorphic, the mineral, and artfully exploit the sensual textures and forms of nature. They are surely inspired by the landscape around Donostia, but the power that these two objects convey is universal; despite the delicacy of the lines and incisions, these weighty works of sculpture make an impact on both a visual and emotional level, an impact which defies limitations or boundaries.
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